ESPN launches video podcasts
ESPN today launched its first free, downloadable video podcasts available daily via the ESPN PodCenter and soon to be available via the iTunes Store (www.itunes.com). The first video podcast offerings include a downloadable version of the popular ESPN.com SportsCenter Minute, the “Big Finish” from ESPN’s Pardon The Interruption (PTI), the “First Word” segment from ESPN’s Around The Horn, ESPN Digital Media’s “Fantasy Focus” daily original fantasy sports news and analysis program (also available daily on ESPN.com and ESPN Mobile TV), and the “Mike & Mike Moment” from the popular morning radio and television program. Each podcast is between two and seven minutes in length, in MPEG-4 format, and can be watched on fans’ computers or on portable digital devices.
“Sports fans want their video everywhere they are and on any device,” said John Kosner, senior vice president, ESPN New Media. “Through downloadable video, online video at ESPN.com and on your phone, plus live and on-demand events on ESPN360.com, we continue to bring fans the very best content in sports.”
ESPN video podcasting launches in the midst of ESPN’s industry-leading success with audio podcasts and on-demand digital radio initiatives. Since beginning its first audio podcast in July 2005, ESPN has expanded to produce more than 30 original and edited podcasts that account for more than four million downloads each month by more than one million unique users on ESPN’s PodCenter and the iTunes Store. As further testament to the popularity of ESPN podcasts earlier this year AndoMedia Web Metrics reported that, from January 11 through March 29, the total amount of time sports fans spent listening to ESPN podcasts equaled 24 years, 308 days and 19 hours.
Like ESPN audio podcasts, ESPN video podcasts will be ad-supported. Since the launch of audio podcasts, advertising for ESPN audio podcasts has grown by more than 200%, driven by sponsorship and advertising from major marketers including: OnStar by GM, AT&T, AutoZone, Nivea For Men, Lamisil AT, Progressive Auto Insurance and Dick’s Sporting Goods.
In addition to free, ad-supported video podcasts, ESPN also offers commercial-free premium downloadable programs and complete recent and classic games via iTunes, including packages of content tied to great college sports rivalries like North Carolina versus Duke basketball and Ohio State versus Michigan football, major sports events like The Rose Bowl, original ESPN events like the X Games, and ESPN Original Entertainment programming like The World Series of Poker and The Contender.
ESPN also works with cable, telecommunications and satellite affiliates to offer on-demand video to consumers on their television via ESPN On Demand. Content available through ESPN On Demand includes full episodes of PTI, ESPN Original Entertainment content, select college football and basketball games and channels dedicated to programming from ESPNU and ESPN Deportes.